ELIZABETH ZELVIN QUOTES

American author (1944- )

My goal as a writer is to move people, to make them laugh and cry, and I'm gratified when I succeed. But I didn't invent the humor in recovery. It's already there. There's a tremendous amount of laughter at a good AA meeting.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, The Fix

1 likes


Death will get you sober.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, Death Will Get You Sober

0 likes

Tags: death


It takes a lifetime of practice to achieve a spiritually sound state of imperfection.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, Death Will Get You Sober

0 likes


I first said I wanted to be a writer at the age of seven. It took longer to get that first novel out than I expected.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, "Interview Questions and Answers", official website

0 likes

Tags: writing


My only ritual is making sure everyone leaves me alone.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, "An Interview with Elizabeth Zelvin--Author, Psychotherapist, and Singer-Songwriter", Debra H. Goldstein - DHG's Blog

0 likes


I have two careers that I can do at home in my jammies--the other is online therapy, treating clients around the world via chat and email--so I spend most days at the computer whether I'm writing or not.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Kings River Life Magazine, May 2012

0 likes


When I finished the first draft of Death Will Get You Sober, I joined Sisters in Crime and, later, Mystery Writers of America. After that, it was a matter of doing a lot of revision, sending out hundreds of queries over several years, and applying "talent, persistence, and luck"--sometimes known as "persistence, persistence, persistence."

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, The Fix

0 likes


What inspired the mystery series as a whole was my desire to write about recovery from alcoholism, codependency, and other addictions and compulsive behaviors. Recovery is an amazing transformational process that sometimes verges on the miraculous. Many people know little or nothing about it, and many others think it must be dark and depressing. I wanted to create engaging characters in recovery to manage to have some fun in the process of turning their lives around.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, "An Interview with Elizabeth Zelvin--Author, Psychotherapist, and Singer-Songwriter", Debra H. Goldstein - DHG's Blog

0 likes

Tags: alcoholism


My way of allotting my time is completely intuitive. I sit down at the typewriter every morning and start tackling whatever seems most pressing.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Book Browsing, Jul. 26, 2012

0 likes


The writing life is different from what I expected when my first mystery, Death Will Get You Sober, came out five years ago. As a young woman, I visualized social success and validation rather than the task of writing, but if someone had asked me, I would have said it would be a solitary task. I spend a lot of time at my computer, alone in my apartment, but I'm constantly connected to the community of mystery writers and the larger community of mystery lovers, thanks to the Internet. And since I'm lucky enough to live in New York City, I go to all the parties--book launches, Edgars Week, monthly meetings of MWA and Sisters in Crime--as well as mystery conventions. The support and guidance of other writers has been crucial to the development of my craft as well as the business of getting and staying published.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Book Browsing, Jul. 26, 2012

0 likes


I'm an into-the-mist writer in terms of plotting, and my process in general is very intuitive. Since my series characters are well established, what usually happens is they start talking in my head, and I'd better grab a pad and pen or hit the digital recorder feature on my iPhone or get to the keyboard before it goes away.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Kings River Life Magazine, May 2012

0 likes


I spent fifteen years working for various publishers editing text and reference books, including a beautifully edited but mind-numbing accounting textbook. That didn't get me any closer to being a published novelist, though it made me a crackerjack editor.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, "Interview Questions and Answers", official website

0 likes


I certainly write to entertain. I want my books to make readers laugh and cry. I confess I think my writing is hilarious at times. But I also have something to say about recovery--from alcoholism and other addictions, codependency, and eating disorders. It means a lot to me when readers who know nothing about addictions tell me that I've given them a glimpse what it's like, that they've developed some compassion for the suffering and struggle.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Kings River Life Magazine, May 2012

0 likes

Tags: compassion


I love my titles. They're funny, they match, and they tell you what the story is about. But when it came to this one, my publisher, Edgar-winning author Julie Smith of BooksBNimble, said my original title, Death Will Improve Your Relationship, wouldn't do. This was e-publishing, and she said the word "relationship" was too long to figure in a good design for a cover the size of a postage stamp. She proposed DEATH WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE instead. We, er, discussed it, and she won. The funny thing is that everyone loves the title, and the cover is terrific.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, "An Interview with Elizabeth Zelvin--Author, Psychotherapist, and Singer-Songwriter", Debra H. Goldstein - DHG's Blog

0 likes


How can a treatable illness be a villain? I'm writing mysteries, and the villains are the murderers, though even they may end up eliciting our understanding or sympathy. On the other hand, I could make a case for recovery itself--from addictive substances and compulsive behaviors, not only from alcoholism--being the true hero.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Getting Medieval: Author Jeri Westerson's Blog

0 likes


I confess I'm not on Twitter. You could say it's the ultimate schmoozing tool, but a limit of 140 characters suggests relationships that are too superficial for me. Hey, I do psychotherapy online. I like to go deep.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Book Browsing, Jul. 26, 2012

0 likes


I fell in love with the short story form and kept on going. I found that even 3,000 words is surprisingly spacious and that writing short allowed me to experimented with different subgenres and voices without a huge investment of time and energy or too much of a stake in the outcome for any particular story.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, "Interview Questions and Answers", official website

0 likes


My first novel, Death Will Get You Sober, came out on my sixty-fourth birthday--not quite the career path I expected.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Kings River Life Magazine, May 2012

0 likes


Maybe this is not objectively the most exciting event, but the thing I got the most excited about was the call from the person who became my agent at the time I had to negotiate the contract for my first novel. He was not my first agent, I'd already received the offer from the publisher, and I have a different agent now. The story is far too complicated to go into. But I was in the shower coloring my hair when the phone rang, and when I heard the agent starting to leave a message, I absolutely had to take the call. Thank goodness no one Skyped yet back then.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Book Browsing, Jul. 26, 2012

0 likes


I come from the generation of readers who expected a beloved series to go on and on. I would be happy to keep Bruce and Barbara and Jimmy going as long as they're willing to talk to me in my head. But times have changed, and if that's not possible, I don't know what will come next.

ELIZABETH ZELVIN, interview, Getting Medieval: Author Jeri Westerson's Blog

0 likes